Dawn is my time.
Always early to bed, no tallying of sheep needed since I fall straight into a dreamland where there are more exciting things to count.
It’s hard rising before first light, in summer so early and in winter too cold. Nothing is allowed to impede my progress though. Quickly dressed, I render my mug of coffee lukewarm with extra milk, and drain it as I leave, no time for breakfast food.
The harbour gate swings open silently in remote recognition of my keycard. As I descend the ladder, the small number of rungs above the water confirms that I have beaten the tide once again. Aboard at last, with the engine noise outdoing the sound of lapping water, I steer carefully through the entrance of the West-facing harbour, paradoxically on the East coast of England, thereby giving Beadnell its claim to fame. The old limekilns are barely visible for now, but the sun will later turn their pale sandstone into an illuminated beacon to welcome me home. As I move towards my usual patch, I can just make out the distant horizon beyond the reach of my boat lights, as sky and sea separate themselves from the black of dark. I sip tea from my flask and watch as tones of rosy pinks appear in the sky.
The sun takes but a few minutes to rise, nothing obscuring my view of it on a clear day when it finally breaches the horizon. The nascent rays glance the surface of the water, bestowing a golden path from horizon to distant shore – a serenity of gold on a calm day, the orange light dancing on the ripples if it’s breezy, or riding the waves when it’s rough. I indulge in the beautiful moment when night and day have become one, all alone in the wide expanse, just the sun and I.
Turning back to the task in hand, I spot my numbered buoy close by, start up the hauler, help the pots over the side, and count the real lobsters, as I did the imaginary ones in my dream.